Like many great artists before him – Van Gogh, Matisse and Monet to name a few – in 1965 Andy Warhol turned his attention to flowers for a period. Although not really fitting with the modernist art movement of the time, this was the 60s and flowers had become symbolic of the peace seeking counter-culture of the decade. Warhol also wanted to try something different, to move on from the commercial illustration and mass media inspired images he had produced up to this point. So when he had his first major contemporary art exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in November 1964, it consisted entirely of flowers. The inspiration for this series had come directly from another person’s work. Where a photograph of hibiscus flowers in Modern Photography Magazine by Patricia Caulfield was reproduced and manipulated by Warhol. Caulfield later sued him for copyright infringement, leading to an out of court settlement where Caulfield was given a royalty for future use of the image. An experience that led him to only work with his own photographs from then on. The Castelli exhibition included 48 and 24 inch square canvases with flexible orientation. His next show at the Sonnabend Gallery in Paris in the spring of 1965, included 14, 8, and 5 inch squares. This series of silkscreened flowers would eventually total 900 pieces ranging in size from 5 inch squares to 7 x 13 feet. Warhol continued to revisit flowers through-out his career and in almost every medium. Although some of his least studied artworks, many consider the Flower series to be his most beautiful and sensitive work. Below a rather shiny man from Sotheby’s talks more about the series and its context, some of which went to auction there in 2013.